Everyone needs a getaway. The good news is, you don’t have to wait for the winter rush to secure a vacation to your favorite mountain landscape. While the winter months bring snow enthusiasts from far and wide to the largest ranges, a tranquil escape to the mountains can provide the perfect alternative for your time away.
Whether you’re looking for a family adventure that keeps the kids engaged or a romantic respite from the rush of the city, there are lots of places to visit which are closer to home, and easier on the budget. You should never have to sacrifice enjoyment for distance. Below, we’re taking a look at three different trips you can take in the lesser-known gems of the eastern United States.
Lounging and lodging in the Blue Ridge Mountains
The historic Appalachian Trail is the ultimate place to clear the “city” from your system. Nestled within its 2,000-mile stretch is the small township of Ashe County, North Carolina. Surrounded by stunning, tree-lined streets and quiet country roads, relaxation will be the only thing on your mind when you nestle into your lodge at night.
For the best scenery, choose the Blue Ridge Mountains for your stay and revel in the spectacular blue hue that gives these mountains their name. Blue Ridge mountain cabins range from small suites to grand lodges that act as a stylish testament to old-world Americana. Start your day with a walk through the lush landscape around you, get your bluegrass music fix at a local gig, or settle in by the fireside with your latest read. The choices are plentiful in this breathtaking spot.
Wildlife wonders and holiday hikes at Peters Mountain
Our next stop on the Appalachian Trail is Peters Mountain, a modest climb with powerful views in history-rich Pennsylvania. Settle down in nearby Halifax, a less than 10-minute drive away from the mountain ranges, before you wake up to meet the sunrise at the start of your hike. The mountain is climbable throughout the year, with free spots to pitch up a tent on your trek to the summit.
Just 10 minutes in the opposite direction out of Halifax is a wildlife park that nature-lovers won’t want to miss. Set aside a day to experience an authentic safari tour across the rolling countryside, or de-stress in the company of exotic wildlife while your kids spend some time in the petting zoo. Treat yourself and your family to a day of unforgettable animal experiences after your huge hike.
Trout fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains
Trout fishing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tennessee. However, in the rich mountain greenery of a small pocket just north of Nashville lies the hidden gem of Greenbrier in the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s the perfect spot for your next father-and-son bonding day, or for fishing aficionados to find their next big catch. This scenic spot is well-attended by locals, but low on the general public’s radar. Put Tennessee’s best-kept secret on your itinerary, and soak in your relaxing summer days or breezy fall evenings by the Howard’s Creek spot. Just don’t forget your fishing license.
If you’re bringing along guests who are less keen on baiting-and-waiting and more interested in sightseeing, you’ll find yourself just 30 minutes away from Nashville, the state’s capital. For relaxation that’s closer to your temporary home base, taking a simple walk through the local surroundings will provide a stunning backdrop of freshly blooming wildflowers all year round.